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Bigger, stronger, faster

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Revengeofthenerds, May 11, 2011.

  1. Revengeofthenerds

    Revengeofthenerds
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    Thread title taken from an awesome documentary of the same name.

    When I told my doctor I was about to go off anti-depressants (another doctor), he, almost as an aside, suggested that staying on them could be beneficial to my academic performance in grad school. Why? "Well, I know a lot of people take them because they help them focus and study. Something to think about."

    This was a doctor who, when he said it, was in the process of writing me a prescription for allergy meds; he could probably have his license taken away had I reported it.

    I was honestly shocked, and kind of appalled. But the more I thought about it, I've known plenty of people who've taken performance-enhancing drugs in one way or another (that is, if you take the phrase "performance-enhancing drugs" to mean "any supplement that helps a person with their profession"). Adderall to study. Beta blockers to calm their nerves. Sleeping pills help mere mortals get a good night's rest before a big game or a professional presentation.

    I've been guilty of it too. In undergrad, I had one particular class where a few beers loosened me up (no homo) and made for a better presentation. The people on the other end of the grade curve hated me, but when it comes down to it, how is that any different than a baseball player taking HGH to make it to the majors? It's the same concept, just a larger stage.

    (In an attempt to keep this somewhat civil, please don't turn this into a terrible debate. Not only does no one want to read a bunch of bickering, but it also isn't funny. Opinions are like assholes, and what not. Don't get personally offended.)

    FOCUS: Would you (or have you) taken what is loosely defined as "steroids"? Why or why not? Also, please explain your perception of the "steroids era." How has the increased testing in sports (or other professions) altered how you view your heros/entertainment?

    ALT FOCUS: Where do you draw the line? A cup of coffee or a Red Bull is OK because it makes you more hyper, but an amphetamine is a step up? Why? The Bird Man was expelled from his profession for "taking drugs," yet if he was diagnosed as ADD the same drug would have been ok.
     
  2. DrFrylock

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    I dunno, I drink industrial quantities of caffeine, but it doesn't make me hyper or even wake me up in the morning. I think I'm immune to it. The only bad thing is that if I am separated from it for a few days I get an awful headache.

    Personally, I can't stand people that are fucked up on anything. They annoy the shit out of me. The reason I'm more OK with Red Bull than Amphetamines is that I've never seen someone drink a bunch of Red Bull and then lock themselves in their room to play Final Fantasy for 52 straight hours because they're hiding from the helicopters that are after them. I have seen someone do that on Meth, though.
     
  3. lostalldoubt86

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    One of my college roommates (I had 5) was a drug dealer who didn't keep track of her supply. It's kind of amazing that I didn't develop a habit from all the adderal to study, Oxycontin to fall asleep (which was extra unnecessary,) and Cymbalta to calm my nerves. I eventually stopped because the come-down from Adderal is horrible.
     
  4. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

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    I catch a lot of shit from my friends for being so adamant about this--but Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, and the rest should continue to hold their respective records, no asterisk. Nothing they did was against the rules of baseball at the time they did it (obviously for players who are caught juicing after the testing began or in most other sports, where steroids have been banned for a lot longer than they have in baseball, this doesn't apply). Did it provide them an unnatural advantage that past players didn't have?? Yes. So do improvements in bat and ball technology, improvements in exercise science, improvements in what we know about nutrition, and a whole shit ton of other things. And let's not forget that a lot of pitchers of that era (coughClemenscough) were juicing too. As long as they didn't violate the rules of baseball, they should not be held accountable in the baseball record books.

    Not all juicers are created equal. A 35-year-old accountant who juices because he wants to add 100 lbs to his bench for no reason other than bragging rights probably isn't making a wise decision, but he's a grown-ass man. A 16-year-old kid who is a marginal athlete and takes steroids because he wants to be a good (but still not great) athlete at the high school level and therefore get laid more is flat-out stupid (nothing personal against this kid--what 16-year-old isn't stupid).

    But say the same 16-year-old kid is a good football or basketball player, but not quite good enough to get a free ride to college. Let's say he comes from a rough neighborhood, no one in his family has ever been to college, and he knows that if he stays in the neighborhood he'll likely be in jail or dead by age 25. If he gets a college scholarship, he gets out of the neighborhood, maybe makes it to the pros, but at worst gets a degree he can use to better himself--but the only way he can get that scholarship is by juicing. It's awfully hard for me to sit here and tell that kid he's a scumbag if he takes steroids.

    Likewise, a member of the military or a firefighter who juices because there's a good chance that the extra strength they get from doing so may literally mean the difference between life and death either for themselves or for one of their buddies is a totally different situation. I've never juiced and probably never will, but I've thought about it, and I've worked with guys who have. I weigh around 190 lbs (and there are plenty of guys who weigh a lot more than that) and usually have 60-70 lbs of gear on when we go out on mission; if our truck rolls over and catches fire but I get knocked out, I'll need someone to drag my now-250+ lb ass out of the truck. If no one is strong enough to do so, I burn to death. And unfortunately, the military's physical fitness regimen (at least in the US Army, can't speak for the other services or other countries) is still based on WW2 and encourages soldiers to be 140 lb stringbeans who can't bench their own bodyweight but can run really far really fast (wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and sneakers). You do the math.

    And for pro athletes, even though it's not a matter of life and death, it is a matter of livelihood. These guys are relying on their physical capabilities--strength, speed, stamina--to put food on the table for themselves and their families (yeah, Bonds and McGwire would still have been making millions without juicing, but what about that backup offensive guard making league minimum who's constantly looking over his shoulder in fear that a younger guy is going to take his job?). It's tough for me to blame these guys, especially if juicing isn't against the rules of their own sport.

    See above. I'd say each person has to weigh the costs and benefits of anything they want to put in their body (whether it's food, booze, legal or illegal drugs, or a bisexual IV drug user from sub-Saharan Africa's penis) and accept the consequences. In the context of organized sports, I'm OK with the commissioner or whoever drawing the line wherever they see fit--it'll obviously be arbitrary, just as it's arbitrary that each basepath is 90 feet and not 80 or 100.
     
  5. Disgustipated

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    I'm on 50mg of dexamphetamine a day to try and approach normal. I barely feel it. I don't like taking drugs, and I resisted it even when the doctor initially wanted to prescribe this (and others we'd tried). I finally relented because nothing else was working and I was eventually going to kill myself or someone else if I passed out at the wrong time.

    In my now unfortunately biased opinion, drugs to correct a defined problem are fine but drugs to improve on "normal" are not. How you define those is anyone's guess.
     
  6. Arctic_Scrap

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    I might be in the minority here but I think sports were more fun to watch when steroids were more prevalent. Lets be honest here, 2-run home runs are a lot cooler than a double. A running back knocking through a bunch of guys is exciting to watch. Athletes that are bigger, stronger, and faster make for a more exciting sport. I mean us as fans, there's no impact on us whether an athlete uses some PEDs and if it makes more fun for the fans then allow it.
     
  7. PIMPTRESS

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    I believe we should have the right to make an informed choice about what we put in our bodies. I believe that drug use should be monitered/controlled in professions that affect other people (firefighters and the like).

    Sports? They can do what they want. I could care less if Bonds is juicing, he's the one who has to deal with his diminished libido and shrunken testicles. I think that taking Ritalin to help me get an A is my choice.

    Methamphetamines are a whole different level. They don't enhance a damn thing except for psychosis and withered souls.

    It's a tough argument, really. How would the users be monitered if drugs were legal? If they have kids, should they be allowed? I can never come to a solid conclusion about drugs. Pot is obvious but what about cocaine? Can we handle a bunch of ballsack. 873's running amok?
     
  8. Muley05

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    If taking steroids back when baseball was not testing for them was the difference between me being a AAA player and a Major Leaguer, I absolutely would have taken them.

    The media and fans get all butt hurt about it being cheating and affecting all time records, but baseball has been all about cheating since its inception. Babe Ruth played when blacks and Latin players were in separate leagues. Players in the 70s were on "greenies" (amphetamines).

    MLB tests for steroids now, so players can get suspended if they take them. That's ok by me. But the players will find something else that will give them an edge. It's how the game is played.

    Buck O'Neill, a former Negro Leagues player, manager, and a former scout and coach in MLB said it best: He said that the only reason that players during his playing days didn't take steroids is because they didn't have them.
     
  9. Psk

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    The only issue I really have about performance enhancing drugs in proffessional sports is that it will, I think in the long-run, force players to use them in order to be competetive. Prime example:

    Now, I know that players need to make huge sacrifices already, but something that may have an adverse affect on your body?* I find that difficult to accept. As someone else said, better to draw the line somewhere and stick to it. This is also the reason why I think it is correct to have international sporting bodies that can make these decisions and enforce them.

    *Then again, many sports have adverse effects on players just through the nature of the sport, such as Football or Rugby. Though in those cases, it is the actual sport that has the negative effect, not what you have to do to get good (such as diet or training).
     
  10. Binary

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    I love the comments that imply it's as simple as steroids make sports more exciting to watch.

    Where does it stop? It has to escalate, because the competitive edge goes away as it becomes widespread. Do you end up in a place where no player is competitive unless they're putting their health and life in danger? And what kind of message does it send to the people who aspire to have careers in sports, starting at the high school level? Of course 99.99% of those people never make it to a career in the professional arena, but they are going to behave like they want one.

    There's no middle ground here. They have to draw a hard line and stick to it. Past problems don't mean it shouldn't be corrected.
     
  11. GTE

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    FOCUS: Would you (or have you) taken what is loosely defined as "steroids"?



    About a year after first starting working out I took a cycle of pro hormones (American Cellulars MMA-3) which was legal at the time. Shit was ridiculous. I put a lot of muscle on very quickly. Every week I was adding 15-20 lbs to my bench repping weight and gaining about a 1-1.5 lbs a week. I went from being the "fit" guy to the "that's a pretty big dude" guy in two months.
     
  12. rbz90

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    Back in the old country my father used to be an Olympic Style Weightlifter. He was a backup for the 84 Olympics and you better believe he juiced, they all did and the coaches not only knew, but were the ones making them do it. That being said he always said the same thing about steroids to me. If you are just doing them for fun you're stupid, if you're doing them and you're not already at a fairly high level of the sport you are just being lazy. They are used when you've done everything you can to push yourself naturally. In short if you're just doing it so that you can be a first stringer on your high school football team then you shouldn't for sure. If you're in the NFL, MLB etc... you probably have already done all you can to push yourself physically and it's not as bad of an idea as the previous.
     
  13. shauncorleone

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    I'm an ardent supporter of testing for steroids in a profession where competitive advantage could be directly linked to your pay. That includes things like firefighting and the military. That said, I don't mean that testing positive should lead to automatic suspension or termination. For non-sports professions, your coworkers should be aware if you are currently taking or have recently taken an anabolic, as it will affect your performance and your mood. In sports, I'll leave it to the experts to decide which drugs have real long-term effects on quality of life, and I'll agree those should be illegal.

    As for a desk jockey making an informed decision about taking anabolics to put on 20 pounds? Who gives a shit? Would I take them? Yeah, I'd consider it. If I had a reliable source for Decadurabolin and Testosterone, I would probably do a single cycle. Why? Mostly because I strength train not for competition but for fun, because I like testing my strength and because I'm quite vain. The thought of putting on 15 net pounds of muscle in a short period of time is extremely tempting.

    As with most drugs, a lot of the elements of danger in steroids are due to the black market created by outlawing them.

    Do I think the steroid era players should have an asterisk next to their stats? I defer to Daniel Tosh: "Forget Barry Bonds. Babe Ruth deserves the asterisk. He played before black people were even allowed."

    EDIT: To clarify first para
     
  14. dixiebandit69

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    First of all, I want to say that I don't give a shit about sports; the only sport I like is drag racing, and that is a whole other realm of cheating.
    As much fun as it would be to see everyone juicing in professional sport (hell, I might actually start watching it then), it's one of those issues where if you aren't doing it, you won't ever succeed. That could force guys who would normally never take steroids to do it just to keep their jobs.
    What I think would be a better alternative would be to have and all-steroid division of the popular sports.

    Would I take steroids? No.
    Other "performance enhancing" drugs? I've taken a lot of drugs in the past, but none of them ever "enhanced" me in any way; there was always some kind of terrible tradeoff.
     
  15. Maltob14

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    Here's an interesting short clip I watched a while ago which gives another perspective the issue. I agree with him on some things and disagree on others. Just some food for thought.

    Heads up though, there is a bit of swearing in the video if you are at work.

     
    #15 Maltob14, May 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  16. Rob4Broncos

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    Would anyone believe me if I told them that I'm more personally, socially and professionally functional with regular, mild marijuana use?

    Yeah, I thought not.

    Nevertheless, I'm much better off because of weed. Without it, I'm a blithering, incompetent, dysfunctional mess. I approach it with the same mentality used with prescription medication: small doses on a regular, daily schedule. SMALL doses, goddamn you. Like, one hit and I'm good for 6 hours. Yeah, it's fun to get super-stoned on occasion, but ordinarily I use it so I can simply get shit done. Contrary to what Robin Williams and many other people have said, I find it to be a legitimate performance enhancer, of sorts.

    Adam LaRoche has received attention during his career for that exact reason. There used to be questions early on about any potential "competitive advantage" he gained from his medication. Those claims have since been recanted.
     
  17. dewercs

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    If I had a good reason(like I was training for something or trying to put on bulk) to take HGH or steroids I most likely would. I am not totally convinced that a moderate amount of that type of thing combined with a very good diet and excercise is such a horrible thing. In my opinion if you were that dedicated to a training regiment a moderate amount of steroids we be a benefit to you. Of course having an addictive personality I would most likely abuse it and hurt myself.

    From a competitive standpoint, I think the playing field should be level either everyone is allowed to do it or no one is and the IOC does the testing.
    The steroid era is baseball was fun to watch , but those guys should just own it and I would be fine. Instead they all go in front of whatever governing body and deny, deny, deny. Own it and move on, baseball fans are very forgiving.
     
  18. rbz90

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    If they owned up that would put all their accomplishments in jeopardy. Also wouldn't that mean they're all admitting to a crime as well as admitting they are cheaters? Denying it till the end is in their best interest.
     
  19. Binary

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    So you think it's an acceptable level playing field if the only way you can be competitive on the ball field is to put your health/life in danger? And that, in fact, you could effectively "level" any playing field with the open-ended "you can do steroids" mandate?

    Is this totally open? Do as much as you want of whatever you want because we don't care? So it's "level" but those who are willing to risk their life have more to gain and you'll have the occasional collapse/death on the field? No? So do you regulate it? Define maximum levels? The sport will simply adjust over time to the competitive line. In which case how is that different from now, where the maximum level is "none"?

    This all just seems ridiculous to me, that people can even conceive of "yes, you can do drugs" becoming a level playing field.
     
  20. dewercs

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    Baseball did not start testing for steroids until 2003, certain types of performance enhancer were not illegal at that time so there was no real crime taking place. Mark McGwire for instance was a know user of Androstenedione, it was not illegal and baseball did not have a ban on it.